The family of a woman killed in a gas explosion last year has settled a lawsuit against Questar Gas and several contractors. It had been alleged that Questar, Qwest and three subcontractors were at fault in causing the gas leak at the Saratoga Springs, Utah residence. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendants failed to properly repair and safely clear the area. The plaintiff’s 24-year-old wife was killed last year, along with a Questar employee, when the house exploded.
The four-hour sequence of events that led to the explosion began around noon. At that time, S&E Cable, working as a subcontractor to Angilau, Niels Fugal, and Qwest, attempted to use a missile – a pneumatically-powered underground mole – to bore a hole toward the home for the installation of a permanent phone and data line. The missile struck and ruptured a Questar gas line. S&E Cable was not a licensed contractor and was not properly trained to perform the work. Neither was the S&E employee, who was working alone, prepared to handle the gas-line rupture.
It took nearly two hours for Questar employees to arrive at the scene, a delay said to have been exacerbated by the unlicensed contractor’s mishandling of the situation. During that time, the ruptured line pumped nearly 9,000 cubic feet of natural gas into the ground on the north and east sides of the home. Once the line was repaired, Questar and its employees failed to perform their duty to determine the safety of the area. The bodies of the homeowners and the employee were discovered in the home’s basement near the furnace, which appeared to have been turned on.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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